Wine Review: 2015 Bin 55 Rich Red Blend, Dr. Henry John Lindeman’s

2016 Bin 55 rich Red Blend Lindeman's

60% Shiraz, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.5% alcohol.

On sale for $5.99 at Walgreens ($10 at Albertson’s), this is a very nice red blend from South Eastern Australia.

Bin 55 Rich Red Blend

As always, I’m a fan of the screw cap, especially when the contents are this good. Vanilla, dark fruit, smooth finish with a touch of smoke. A great deal at full price and an even better deal at half price! Pairs great with dry rub BBQ pork chops and steamed vegetables. Also acceptable curled up in a blanket on the couch with a bag of chips. No matter how you pair it, one thing is for certain, Lindeman’s Red Blend turns down the volume on the lingering stress memories from the day.

Stress less, wine more.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Wine Review: 2016 Pinot Noir, Fisheye

Fisheye Pinot Noir

 

Of all the budget-priced wines in the $5 – $6 range, Fisheye from south eastern Australia is by far my favorite (and I’m cheap, so I’ve tried most of them). Every Fisheye wine that I have sampled is smooth and tasty and this 2016 Pinot Noir is no different.

It truly makes me happy to spend only $5 on a bottle of wine and not regret it in the morning.

This Pinot Noir is just a touch spicy with a hint of cinnamon over a smooth base of medium red fruit and a bit of oak. Check out the beautiful ruby red hue!

Fisheye Pinot Noir

Other pertinent facts: 13.5% alcohol, pairs well with pepper-jack cheese and Club crackers, no headache. Did I mention $5?

 

 

Wine Review: 2014 Shiraz Cabernet, Jacob’s Creek

img_1106

After seeing much praise for Jacob’s Creek on the Twitters, I decided to conduct my own taste test.

Aptly named, this Shiraz Cabernet from south eastern Australia is 66% Shiraz, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 13.9% alcohol. The bottle also features a clever wine-glass shaped QR code.

Peppery plums and cedary oak, smooth finish, pleasantly soothing after a long day of work.

I would claim that Staples customers drive me to drink but the truth is that they just give me something to rant about while I’m drinking – which I would do anyway because wine is delicious.

That being said, Staples customers are doing a great job of compelling me to quit Staples, which will be happening soon enough.

Anyhoo, Jacob’s Creek Shiraz Cabernet is a fine example of Australian Wine and, with recent events in California likely to adversely affect wine supply in the coming years, now seems like a good time to explore wine from other regions.

Wine Review: 2015 Cabernet Merlot, Black Opal

img_1089

With wildfires raging through California Wine Country as we speak, I think it’s a good thing that Australia and Chile produce some excellent California-alternatives.

This Black Opal Cabernet Merlot is from South Eastern Australia and it’s mighty fine.

Purchased to celebrate two special occasions, Black Opal does not disappoint.

Special Occasion #1: October 9th is the day that Xavier and I began our relationship, which was approximately 24 hours after meeting in person for the first time at a Tai Chi retreat in Oracle, Arizona. We’re so adorable it’s not even funny.img_0520_c

That was three years ago, now we’re an old married couple (well, he’s older – but not too old- and I keep telling myself that I look the same) in the process of buying a house, which is a thing that married people do. Still adorable though.

Special Occasion #2: I earned my first professional I.T. Certification on Sunday (which was October 8th – but close enough)

Since then, I have come down with a dreadful cold which raises the question: Can you mix wine with DayQuil? Is WineQuil a thing?

Joking, obviously.

Anyway, about the Black Opal. It’s $9.99, has a convenient (because I’m lazy) screw cap, and weighs in at 13.5% alcohol. It didn’t give me a headache but Xavier said it gave him a mild one.

Given a few minutes to breathe, this wine is blueberries and chocolate all night long; a smooth drinker that is all too easy to keep on drinking. Which reminds me, whenever the clerk at the liquor store asks if I want a receipt, I always reply, “Not unless you give free refills.” Needless to say, I never take the receipt and there is one less piece of trash on the floor of my car.

Xavier said it was good paired with chocolate and vanilla ice cream waffle cone. I gave it a whirl and thought the wine was better by itself. Prior to breaking out the ice cream, we had paired it with turkey chili, which was very nice.

I believe this is the second review in a row where the winemaker’s description reads “…and a touch of mint.” Clearly someone needs to spit out their gum cuz there ain’t no mint.

Not minty, but better because of it. Mighty fine adult grape juice.

Wine Review: 2012 Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, [yellow tail] Reserve

img_1012-1

 

[ yellow tail ] Reserve Cabernet Sauvigon.

By “Reserve” they mean it cost $8.99 instead of $7.99 so, you know, high rollers only.

While I’m not convinced that the extra dollar isn’t just spent on the fancy-pants label, this Cabernet Sauvignon isn’t bad. It’s definitely full-bodied with some upper-cut to the upper palate, gets ya with ole one-two if you know what I mean.

[ yellow tail ] reds are typically in your face, lacking volume control and the finesse of an indoor voice. It doesn’t make them bad, it just makes them bold.

Very woody with loud dark fruit. The label reads “… and a hint of mint”.  Apparently someone’s been chewing some super funky gum if they think this wine possesses a hint of mint which, clearly, it does not. But even if it did, “I like this wine because it’s refreshingly minty”, said no one ever.

14% alcohol and a touch of red wine headache.

Certainly not for sissies. Proceed with caution.

Wine Review: 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Fish Eye

img_0988

What can I say? I enjoyed the Fish Eye Merlot so much, I decided to try the Cabernet Sauvignon and, at $4.99, it’s not hardly a risky purchase.

Creamy dark fruit and a bit of pepper, it was terrific paired with pot roast. 13.5% alcohol and no red wine headache. Many wines in this price range are harsh and headache-inducing but this Cabernet Sauvignon is balanced and rich with a pleasantly smooth finish.

Compared to other wines in a similar price range, the Fish Eye wines that I have tried taste more expensive than they are. To be fair, I saw 750ml bottles of Fish Eye for $7.99 at a different store, it just happens to be on sale for $4.99 at the wine shop up the street from my apartment.

Still though, wines in this price range are usually not that great and the Fish Eye Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent value for the price.

I would choose to buy it again because it’s good, not because it’s cheap.

 

Wine Review: 2015 Merlot, Fish Eye

img_0949-1

I thought it would be worse….

Actually, I read some reviews saying that Fish Eye wine was pretty tasty and a good value for the price. Plus I’m a sucker for anything with a cute label.

Nonetheless, $4.99 is a very low price. So, you know, expectation management.

Truth be told, I liked it.

img_0964

This 2015 Merlot from Fish Eye was surprisingly nice. It’s a medium bodied, mellow semi-sweet red. Little bit of oak, little bit of plum, pleasantly smooth finish. Convenient screw cap saves a cork tree. 13.5% alcohol. No red wine headache. Xavier didn’t even get a headache from it and he is extra prone to them.

I paired it with a burger and calabacitas and since you probably don’t know what calabacitas is, let me fill you in.

Calabacitas is a southwestern dish featuring sauteed zucchini, onion, corn, GREEN CHILI, and cheese. It’s hella good with Fish Eye Merlot.

calabacitas